Self-Talk: Musing on Distance Education. (2023)


  • Sayantan Mandal Indian Institute of Technology Jammu, India
  • Sheriya Sareen Indian Institute of Technology Jammu, India



online learning, open and distance learning, distance education


Self-Talk: Musings on Distance Education is a compilation of blogs and a series of reflective writings written by the author on open and distance learning (ODL) and online learning, accounting for over three decades of his experience. The cornucopia of his ideas and anecdotes pertains to the key innovations that hallmarked developments in ODL and online learning. The book shares much-needed pathways to re-imagine compromised education in the post-pandemic world. At the time of writing this book, Dr. Sanjaya Mishra worked as the director of education at the Commonwealth of Learning (CoL) in British Columbia, Canada. The book is primarily based on his prior trove of experiences as a distance educator at the sole centrally-funded open university in India, the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). The goal of this book is to understand the developments in distance education, including the changing roles of teachers and students, with critical discourse centred around IGNOU, based on lessons learned globally and specifically from engagements at the CoL. The book comprises six sections, encompassing 45 chapters.

Author Biographies

Sayantan Mandal, Indian Institute of Technology Jammu, India

Sayantan Mandal is a senior Assistant Professor at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Jammu, India. Previously, he worked at NIEPA and the University of Delhi. He graduated from the Aarhus University, Denmark; receiving his PhD from the University of Deusto, Spain and internship from UNESCO, Hamburg, Germany. At NIEPA, Dr. Mandal coordinated a large-scale study on Teaching and Learning in Indian Higher Education and co-authored the Indian Higher Education Report 2017 on Teaching, Learning, and Quality. At IIT Jammu, Dr. Mandal is presently coordinating two research projects on Integrating-Teaching-Learning Digital Education and Examining Teachers’ Competencies in Generative AI-Enabled Higher Education. Dr. Mandal was also a part of the Pan IIT research group investigating the impacts of the pandemic on teaching and learning in IITs across India. Recently, he was awarded a Fellowship by IIT Jammu to continue his research at the University of British Columbia, Canada.

Sheriya Sareen, Indian Institute of Technology Jammu, India

Sheriya Sareen  is a Doctoral fellow (UGC-SRF) at IIT Jammu, India. She is currently offering research consultancy to COL-CEMCA concerning blended learning and policies. She is also a research team member in two ongoing research projects with Dr. Sayantan Mandal, first on the integration of higher education with technology integration and second on teachers’ competencies and Generative AI. Previously, she was a visiting scholar at NUS, Singapore, COL-CEMCA, and IIT Delhi. Her research spans higher education policies, blended learning, sustainability in higher education, and the professional development of teachers in blended and online learning environments. Sheriya holds dual master's degrees in Physics and Education and has received numerous accolades, including a gold medal and position, during her academic journey.


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Mishra, S. (2023). Self-talk: Musing on Distance Education. Zenodo.

Stracke, C. M., Downes, S., Conole, G., Burgos, D., & Nascimbeni, F. (2019). Are MOOCs Open Educational Resources? A Literature Review on History, Definitions and Typologies of OER and MOOCs. Open Praxis, 11(4), 331-341.

Taylor, J. C. (2001). Fifth generation distance education. Instructional Science and Technology, 4(1), 1-14.

United Nations. (2023). The Sustainable Development Goals.





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